Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turning Up The Heat Blog Tour And Giveaway

The Turning Up The Heat Blog Tour, featuring lovely authors Cara Elliott and Lilli Feisty, makes a stop here today to answer some questions and offer giveaways.1532583_215x340

Cara’s latest release is TOO WICKED TO WED. Here’s a brief synopsis: Outspoken Lady Alexa Bingham enjoys a chance encounter with London's most notorious rake, the Earl of Killingworth, and is drawn into a passionate romance that has serious consequences. When a reckless wager forces the Earl, the owner of a gambling den and brothel, to take on a new business partner, the lovers begin to play a dangerous game of intrigue and deception. If they are not careful, it is the flames of their own fiery attraction that may destroy them. 

Lilli’s curre1523623_215X340nt release is DELICIOUSLY SINFUL. Here’s a brief synopsis of it: Things are heating up in the kitchen...and the bedroom. Restaurant owner Phoebe Mayle thought she had it all under control.  Sure, her new chef has a bad-boy reputation --and a chiseled body to match-- but she's positive she can whip him into shape. But will their hunger for each other be a recipe for love that lasts? 

Thanks to the ladies, Alana and the good folks at Grand Central Publishing, I have 3 sets of books to giveaway. Each set will include 1 copy of each book per winner. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway details.

Now for the ladies’ Q & A session.

Mason - In what order does your characters come to life - name, physical description, personality?
Cara - That’s exactly the order! The name is a huge part of conjuring up the look of a person, and from there I start to delve benea9780446584579_388X586th the surface . . . 

Lilli - Personality. I always start with a general idea of a story, but my characters truly come to life as I write them. Sometimes they surprise me. Actually, they are constantly surprising me because I actually never know what they’re going to do until they do it! 

Mason - Of these three elements (name, physical description, personality), which is the easiest to develop and which is the hardest?
Cara - Though it seems really easy, picking a name is important. The sound and texture—hard, soft, exotic—helps to define the individual taking shape. Once I’ve chosen that, I look at a lot of images, from old paintings to current movie stills, in order to get a picture in my mind. Then the real fun begins—I love the process of delving beneath the surface and finding out what makes my characters tick. Trust me, there are days I sit back after writing a scene and say, “Whoa, I had no idea they were going to do THAT!”
Just like real people, some characters are really laid-back and easy to deal with, Others can be difficult—sometimes it takes a lot of arguing to make them do what you want! 

9780446574105_388X586Lilli - Well, naming them is easy. And fun! I use an old-trick-of-the-trade and I watch movie credits and copy interesting names. I also write names down in the same notebook when I hear a name that strikes me. Then when I’m naming a character I just go to my book and see if there’s anything fitting. There usually is. 

Physical description is always hard for me write. A lot of writers clip images from magazines or use pictures as inspiration, but my characters are always just visualized in my own head as I write them. So it’s always difficult for me to fully describe all their little quirks that make them unique, and I want to make sure and get it right. 

Mason - How would you encourage someone who has never read your genre to give it a try?
Cara - No matter what the genre, a compelling story has to have the same core elements to resonate with readers. Engaging characters, sharp writing, gripping emotion and heartfelt humor—Regency historical romances have all that . . . and hey, who can resist fancy ballgowns and dashing Men in Boots!  

Lilli - I ask people what movies they like, or if they like certain movies. Inevitably, they usually pick a movie that could be considered my genre. For example, if a person likes romantic comedies, there’s a lot of great contemporary romantic comedies she’d probably like as well. 

Cara and Lilli, thank you both so much for stopping here on your tour. I always enjoy learning how an author’s characters come to life. Thanks also for providing the giveaway.

Here’s the details of how to enter this giveaway. Send me an e-mail ( and your subject line should read, “Win TURNING UP THE HEAT.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. Just so you know, I don’t share the mailing information or use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance at one of the 3 sets from the Turning Up The Heat tour -- 384-page TOO WICKED TO WED (ISBN: 9780446584579) and 352-page DELICIOUSLY SINFUL (ISBN: 9780446574105) -- is 8 p.m. (EST) on Friday, Nov. 25.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. How do you get friends to read books in the genres you enjoy if they’ve never tried it? 


  1. Great interview, Mason!

    I have to agree about physical descriptions being tough to write. And naming is definitely trickier than it seems! Thanks for the interesting interview. :)

  2. Wonderful interview! I definitely step away from the normal genres I read when the story has the right elements to hook me. I hate missing out on a great book.

  3. Mason - Thanks for this terrific interview!

    Cara and Lilli - Thanks for some really interesting insights! I always find that my characters surprise me, too. It's hard to know sometimes just what they'll do, but that's part of their appeal. Once they take on lives of their own...

  4. Cara and Lilli, thanks so much for making Thoughts in Progress a stop on your tour. Wishing you both much success with your writing.

  5. Elizabeth, naming would be one element where a journal would definitely come in handy. Having similar names makes it rough sometimes for readers.

    Isis, I so agree with you. I hate missing a good book too so it's fun to try different genres.

    Margot, when an author is surprised by their characters I think the readers will be too. Those are the best kinds of characters.

  6. Loved the interview!

    As to how I get friends to read books in genre I enjoy but which they've never tried - I usually will buy them a copy of one of either my favorite book in the genre or the best book I've read in the genre (not always the same) and give it to them and then I'll check back with them a couple of weeks later to see if they've even started it...I try not to nag them too

  7. Thank you for having such a great giveaway!

  8. Very nice interview.

    Ever notice how some characters start out with a name and no matter how you try to change it, that's the only name they'll accept.

  9. Thanks for a good interview. I’m looking forward to reading Cara’s latest.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.